Post Puddle Jump Breakage
Boats are extremely generous in their ongoing effort to provide projects for the otherwise superfluous
captain and crew. Our boat had 2900 miles to think up things for us to do. All the vibrating, chafing,
rattling, and throwing of stuff by the first mate takes its toll.
Freezer Fails to Freeze:
It happened in the middle of the 21 day passage to the Marquesas. First there was a faint hint of ick.
Then, a full-blown stench emanated from the brand new freezer. No, it couldn't be. We stocked up on
meat and frozen vegetables to prepare for the high prices in French Polynesia. Alas, we could no
longer deny it. Unpleasant things had happened in the freezer while we weren't looking.
Despite the new fangled vacuum insulation and the Cool Blue compressor all of our meat and
vegetables had rotted into a primordial soup just waiting to create new life.
The fixes at the moment are temporary. First we recharged with R 134A freon. The second fix is to
block off half the space with foam insulation. In effect we've created a freezer and cool area combo.
The compressor doesn't seem to be able to handle all 5 cubic feet. Now we have given it 2.5 cubic feet
Not all good things work as well as advertised. The compressor takes much more than the promised 40
amp hours a day.
Even though we had an external thermometer and had made sure it always said 35 or below. It wasn't
enough to keep the contents of the freezer from melting and rotting. Ick.
Update - Dec 2005- Not only is the box too big for the compressor but also it turns out that freezer was
delivered to us with a nick in on of the coupling seals. This allowed all of our coolant to continually leak
out. We are not happy with Technautics, Inc who advised us on the box size appropriate for the
compressor and who also delivered the faulty seal in the first place. Grr.
At low voltage the refrigerator simply cannot get up the energy to actually turn on. I've tried Victoria's
Secret stuff, but,...oh, wait that's another issue. :)
Anyway, the refrigerator keeps attempting to run, over and over again burning enormous amounts of
power. This also annoys the Wonder Crew, Doris, whose bunk is near the refrigerator. Ahh, keep crew
happy. Must ...have...short...nightwatches.
Give Doris earplugs. No it didn't really help.
First we ran larger wire from the battery to the refrigerator hoping to keep the voltage from dropping.
This helped but did not solve the problem entirely.
The problem occurs most often at night on passages because we are running the autopilot, running
lights and do not have any solar power coming in. None of these power drains can be helped. So, we
looked to the owner's manual for enlightenment.
The owners manual for the compressor says it will run with as little as 9.5 volts. Lies, its all lies I tell you.
Luckily another cruiser had the service manual rather than the owners manual. In it the truth was
revealed. You have to rewire the compressor to actually make it run at 9.5 volts. This involves inserting
a jumper between two pins. Running on low voltage is not automatic contrary to the owner's manual
Find the service manual for the equipment you bring on board before you leave and keep them in a
Stove and Oven Fail:
It had to happen while baking. Both the oven and stove had been behaving oddly. A tad fickle you
might say. Yes, distinctly coolish. Of course the full-blown failure waited until I had both banana and
whole wheat bread in the oven. The temperature plummeted then the burners simply went out, never to
light again. (As an aside, never try to finish your bread in a BBQ grill. The temperature even on medium
is much higher than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom of your silicone bakeware will burn off and
you will win the banana bread hurling contest. Yes, Kauehi will always be know to me as the place of
Cuss, oh wait, that was another fix. Oh well, go ahead and cuss again. Tear apart the propane system
looking for leaks. Then, check the solenoid. Yup, the finicky critter had given up and gone camping.
Always carry a spare solenoid and regulator. We have neither, so, are turning the propane on and off
at the source. Its a bit of a pain in rainy weather.
Also, thank heaven for other cruisers. We did not have the fitting that would allow use to bypass the
solenoid but another cruiser in the anchorage did. Whew, its quite a relief since I know no recipes that
feature cooking with a portable propane torch.
Holding Tank Smells:
Another odor problem, do you sense a theme on boats? Face it, boats smell. Actually, boats don't
smell, but, the stuff in them sure does. But really, this smell was, um, extreme? Worse, it came from the
hull that our Wonder Crew Doris slept in. Must ...keep...crew....happy....
So, there is an extreme odor in the hull with the holding tank.
After spending an inordinate amount of time trying to clear vents, looking for leaks, resealing fittings,
tightening hose clamps and endless complaints , the problem turned out to be the outside vent fitting.
You see, the super duper expensive stainless steel vent fitting from West marine had rusted shut. The
mesh that was designed to let air flow, but not bugs, in had cleverly discovered the principles of
oxidation an was exploring this process in all its glory.
Never install a holding tank. Yes, I know, but, that is the genuine opinion of the captain.
Generator Seized Up, Again:
Once again the generator failed to spit forth cooling water.
Cuss, cuss a lot. Rip open the generator. Try to access the generator where it has been installed
against the hull in a most inaccessible location. Cuss more. Finally pull the impellor out. At first it looked
fine, all teeth in place. However a close inspection reveals each tooth was cracked at the base. Sigh,
replace impellor. Try to install bolt, drop bolt, try again - repeat 6 times, involve your girlfriend, have her
drop it 6 times, cuss. Finally get bolt in and threaten engineer designed installation process with bodily
No one considers access for important boat components. Everything breaks, put it where you can fix it.
Oh yeah, and, we should have just replaced the impellor the first time the silly thing acted up.
Link 10 Sending Mysterious Messages:
Our Link 10, the battery monitor, always says that we have less power available than we really do. We
know this because when we start the generator the chargers charge at low amps showing that the
batteries aren't as low as our alarmist Link 10 thinks.
The Link 10 company told us that we can send the unit in for warranty repairs. Ah, this helps us ever so
much since we are in the Tuamotus and its our only battery monitor.
Become battery clairvoyant.